MC:PR30/1/C2/6 Letters from Demies elected 1775-8
Guardbook bound in dark green covers, with “Letters from Demies 1775 1778” on the spine. This guardbook contains letters from and concerning Demies elected between 1775 and 1778. It also includes those Demies who were later elected Fellows.
Fol. 1: Letter from Thomas Camplin (d. 1814; D. 1775–81; F. 1784–1814).
Fol. 1: Letter from Thomas Camplin (address, Bristol) to Martin Routh, 8 Oct 1794. Camplin agrees to the proposal on impropriate tithes.
Fols. 2–4: Letters from Francis Whitcombe (d. 1832; D. 1775–83; F. 1783–1807).
Fol. 2: Letter from Francis Whitcombe (address, Selsey near Chichester) to Martin Routh, 3 Sep (year not given, but postmarked 1794). Whitcombe expresses his opposition to the proposal on impropriate tithes.
Fol. 3: Letter from Francis Whitcombe (address, Poynings) to Martin Routh, 31 Jan (year not given). Whitcombe approves of a proposed exchange (details unknown) offered him by Routh, but fears that the College will not approve of it.
Fol. 4: Letter from Francis Whitcombe (address, Lodsworth near Petworth) to Martin Routh, 25 Mar (year not given). Whitcombe warns him about the eccentric behaviour of William Alcock (D. 1770–83; F. 1783–1810). He hears that Alcock is planning to endow a school at Selborne; however, he plans to do this at the expense of disinheriting his brother’s orphaned children, whom, Whitcombe claims, he is treating unjustly. He therefore hopes that Routh will treat the proposal for a new school with caution.
Fols. 5–26: Letters concerning Francis Massingberd (d. 1824; D. 1775–81; F. 1781–1824). See also MC:PR30/1/C2/1 Fol. 14 and MC:PR30/1/C2/11 no. 5 for other letters concerning Massingberd.
Fol. 5: Letter from Edward Brackenbury (matr. Lincoln 1774; address, Skendleby near Spilsby) to Martin Routh, 29 Dec 1791. Brackenbury regrets the unhappy situation of Francis Massingberd, and asks that Routh arrange for him to be taken to Dr. Willis at Gretford (this is Francis Willis, 1718–1807, the doctor who specialised in mental illness and treated George III, who had a private asylum at Greatford)
Fol. 6: Letter from Francis Willis (address, Gretford) to Martin Routh, 5 Jan 1792. Willis arranges to have Massingberd transported to his own home.
Fol. 7: Letter from Francis Willis (address, Gretford near Peterborough) to Martin Routh, 11 Feb 1792. Willis reports on a visit made by a colleague to Massingberd at Thrapston. Massingberd wants a leather portmanteau sent to him, and asks Routh if he can sort this matter out.
Fol. 8: Letter from James Clayworth (address, Candlesby) to Mr. Fisher (address, Magdalen College; but no one of this name a Fellow of Magdalen), 25 Jan 1795. Clayworth discusses the financial aspect of looking after Massingberd, who he understands is improving in health.
Fol. 9: Letter from Thomas Pindar (F. 1761–96; address, Seymour Street, Bath) to Martin Routh, 17 Nov 1795. Pindar reports on efforts to find safe accommodation for Massingberd in the area in and around Bath. Because of the risk of a relapse, he thinks it unlikely that they will be able to find private accommodation, and they might need to send him back to Dr. Willis.
Fol. 10: Letter from Richard Budd (1746–1821, physician; address, London, Chatham Place) to the President and Fellows of Magdalen College, 28 Jan 1796. Budd gives his opinion on the health of Massingberd, whom he has been treating for the last two or three years, in the light of comments on the subject by Mr. Fisher. Massingberd has never appeared in a sound state of mind, when Budd has seen him, and so Budd advises against putting him in private lodgings. Budd thinks that it is best to leave him being looked after by Mr. Miles at Wanstead, and fears that he may never recover from his illness.
Fol. 11: Letter from Thomas Arnold (c. 1742–1816; physician and mad-doctor; address, Leicester) to Martin Routh, 12 Mar 1796. Arnold discusses arrangements to move Massingberd from Mr. Miles’s house to his own in Leicester. He assures Routh that Massingberd will be well looked after, as he is ‘capable of being in a state of exact, but gentle, control’.
Fol. 12: Letter (part torn away) from Thomas Arnold (address lost) to Martin Routh, (date lost; presumably March 1796). Arnold reports that Massingberd has settled in well at his new lodgings. He fears that Massingberd’s illness is considerable, and reports on his symptoms, such as asking one of the servants whether he was not the devil. His general health, though, appears good.
Fol. 13: Letter from Thomas Arnold (address, Leicester) to Martin Routh, 22 Feb 1797. Arnold thanks Routh for sending him £82 19s 2d for half a year’s board for Massingberd, Arnold reports that Massingerd continues as calm as ever.
Fol. 14: Printed broadsheet (undated; 1790s?) advertising the charges made for Dr Arnold’s asylum at Leicester.
Fol. 15: Letter from C. Massingberd (address, Alford, Lincs.) to Martin Routh, 26 Jan 1798. Massingberd is the brother of Francis Massingberd. He hears that his brother is somewhat better, and hopes that he might be well enough to be moved to a private family in the country, with an attendant recommended by Dr. Arnold.
Fol. 16: Letter from Thomas Arnold (address, Leicester) to Martin Routh, 25 Feb 1798. Arnold thanks Routh for sending him £76 for half a year’s board for Massingberd. He assures Routh that he will let him know if Massingberd wishes any books to be sent to him.
Fol. 17: Letter from Thomas Arnold (address, Leicester) to Martin Routh, 14 Feb 1799. Arnold sends Routh an invoice for £77 19s 4d for Massingberd’s board, and reports on his condition.
Fol. 18: Letter from Thomas Arnold (address, Leicester) to Martin Routh, 17 Aug 1800. Arnold thanks Routh for sending him £76 6s 5d for half a year’s board for Massingberd.
Fol. 19: Letter (part torn away) from an writer whose name is lost (possibly Edward Brackenbury, to judge form the writing and address; address, Skendleby, near Spilsby) to Martin Routh, 30 Jan 1801. Brackenbury writes to Routh on behalf of Massingberd’s friends. They are concerned about his current accommodation, and wonder whether removal to more comfortable surroundings might be better for him. He therefore asks Routh to allow him and his friends to visit Massingberd at Leicester this spring to find out whether he would like to move to somewhere secure, but slightly freer. He also wants to know what Massingberd’s stipend as Fellow will let them afford. His greatest concern is the ‘great confinement’ of Massingberd.
Fol. 20: Letter from Thomas Arnold (address, Leicester) to Martin Routh, 18 Feb 1801. Arnold thanks Routh for sending him £71 9s for half a year’s board for Massingberd.
Fol. 21: Letter from Edward Brackenbury (address, Skendleby) to Martin Routh, 26 Jun 1801. Brackenbury reports on a visit made by him and some of his friends to Massingberd. He is sad to report that Massingberd is still very ill, and that Dr. Arnold fears that he will remain in his present confinement for the rest of his life. However, he is glad to hear that Routh is able to spend some more money on his accommodation. However, he warns Routh that some of Massingberd’s money might be needed towards some drainage costs on an estate which he owns.
Fol. 22: Letter from Thomas Arnold (address, Belle-Grove, Leicester) to Martin Routh, 1 Feb 1803. Arnold thanks Routh for a payment of £54.4s 6d for Massingberd’s board until the time of his leaving his house. Arnold is glad that Routh and Massingberd’s friends approve of his treatment under his care, and hopes that he will get better.
Fol. 23: Letter from Martin Routh (address, Magdalen College, Oxford) to the Bishop of Lincoln, 16 Nov 1812. Routh asks the Bishop whether he has had to suspend Massingberd from the exercise of his clerical office in his living at Gunby. Routh fears that ‘the former unhappy state of his intellects’ makes the account likely.
Fol. 24: Letter from George Pretyman Tomline (1750–1827; Bishop of Lincoln 1787–1820 and of Winchester 1820–7; address, Buckden Place) to Martin Routh, 18 Nov 1812. Pretyman Tomline assures Routh that Massingberd has not been suspended from his duties. However, Massingberd has not answered his letters relating to his latest visitation. His secretary is writing to a neighbouring clergyman, and he will pass on to Routh any information he can give about Massingberd.
Fol. 25: Letter from Francis Drake (F. 1789–1802; address, St. James Street) to Martin Routh, 7 May (year not given, but postmarked 1793). Drake tried to visit Massingberd this morning, but was told that he could not see him without Massingberd getting worse. He thinks that Massingberd is in the best hands.
Fol. 26; Letter from C. Massingberd (address, Keswick, Cumberland) to Martin Routh, 11 Oct (year not given; late 1790s?). Massingberd thanks Routh for his kind attention to his brother Francis. His elder brother knows Mrs. Miles, and hopes to visit her.
Fols. 27–46: Letters from and concerning Arthur Homer (d. 1806; Ch. 1765–72; D. 1775–82; F. 1782–1802). See also MC:PR30/1/C2/14 No. 4 for another letter about Homer.
Fol. 27: Letter from Arthur Homer (no address given; presumably written within the College) to Martin Routh, undated (possibly 1790s?). Homer asks whether the College plans to increase its subscription to the Government, as it can certainly afford to do so. He asks because, in a time of national crisis, he would like to make his own contribution.
Fol. 28: Letter from Arthur Homer (address, “Warwick – en passant”) to Martin Routh, 7 Oct 1787. Homer sends Routh some enquiries on College estate business. He expresses concern as to possible controversy about his financial affairs having been Bursar.
Fol. 29: Letter from Arthur Homer (address not given) to Martin Routh, 22 Apr 1791. Homer regrets that, in the forthcoming Presidential election, he will be supporting John Parkinson over Routh.
Fol. 30: Letter from Arthur Homer (address, Priors Marston near Southam, Warwickshire) to Martin Routh, 30 Nov 1795. Homer defends a Mrs. Cosier, to whom the College at his recommendation had made a charitable grant, against charges of spending its money on fine clothes, which he tries to refute. It seems that Mrs. Cosier had had pupils at Magdalen College School lodging with her including Homer himself). Her husband was also a servant at the College. He discusses her and her husband’s lives and vicissitudes in some detail.
Fol. 31: Letter from Martin Routh (address, Oxford) to Arthur Homer (address: “to be left at the Post Office, Banbury”), 8 Feb 1797. Routh asks Homer whether he wishes to be Vice-President in his turn, in case he is elected Bursar.
Fol. 32: Letter from Martin Routh (no address given) to Arthur Homer (address: “to be left at the Post Office, Banbury”), undated (presumably after 12 Feb 1797). Routh thanks Homer for his two letters (Fols. 33–4 below), which have helped settle matters over the Bursarship.
Fol. 33: Letter from Arthur Homer (address, Radway) to Martin Routh, 12 Feb 1797. Homer has received Routh’s letter of 8 Feb (Fol. 31 above). He never intended to accept the offer of Bursar without being Vice-President as well. He writes at some length why he wanted some time to think about this. He attacks an unnamed Fellow who he claims has been making things difficult for him.
Fol. 34: Letter from Arthur Homer (address, Arlescot near Banbury) to Martin Routh, 15 Feb 1797. Homer has been thinking about the Bursarship again, and discusses the matter at some length once more.
Fol. 35: Letter from Arthur Homer (address, Attlebro’ near Nuneaton) to Martin Routh, 12 Jun 1797. Homer sends Routh an account of his late dispute with the College over the Bursarship. He asks Routh to vet it before he distributes it to other members of the Fellowship. He thanks Routh for his own fairness in this matter.
Fol. 36: Letter from Arthur Homer (address, Attlebro’ near Nuneaton) to Martin Routh, 22 Jun 1797. Homer asks Routh to send him back the account mentioned in letter Fol. 35 above. He does so on the advice of the Vice-President, somewhat ungraciously, but for the sake of College harmony.
Fol. 37: Letter from Arthur Homer (address, Mitre Inn) to Martin Routh, 5 Nov 1797. Homer asks whether the entry in the College Acta for 27 Feb 1797 has been expunged (indeed it has been). Evidently Homer felt that it could be read as reflecting badly on himself.
Fol. 38: Letter from Arthur Homer (no address given) to Martin Routh, 19 Jan 1798. Homer asked whether his last letter to Routh was laid before the College or not, especially the part about the conduct of one of the present Bursars.
Fol. 39: Letter from Arthur Homer (address, Magdalen College) to John Covey (D. 1772–80; F. 1780–1801), 20 Feb 1798. Homer writes a furious and lengthy letter to Covey, accusing him of saying insulting things in the rudest of ways about two friends of his. Covey had merely returned the letter to Homer, crossing out his own name on the envelope, and writing Homer’s on it in stead. See Fol. 43 below.
Fol. 40: Letter from Arthur Homer (no address given; presumably Magdalen College) to Martin Routh, “Ash Wednesday” (i.e. 21 Feb 1798). Homer asks that the Fellows who were present at the altercation between himself and John Covey to comment on his letters to Covey and Routh. He names the Fellows present as Hoskins, Shaw, Tate, and Cobbold.
Fol. 41: Letter from Arthur Homer (address, not given) to Martin Routh, 21 Jan 1798. Homer grumbles about a dispute over who is to be Vice-President and who the Bursars in the coming year.
Fol. 42: Letter from Arthur Homer (address, Magdalen College) to Martin Routh, 25 Jan 1798. Homer discusses again the question of who is to be Vice-President.
Fol. 43: Letter from Arthur Homer (address, Magdalen College) to Martin Routh, 21 Feb 1798. Homer forwards letter Fol. 39 above (his attack on John Covey) to Routh, furious that it was returned to him unopened, and asks Routh to see what the statutes can do to settle this matter.
Fol. 44: Letter (3 pages) from Arthur Homer (address, Ipsley near Henley in Arden) to Martin Routh, 19 May 1800. Homer reflects on a dispute between him and the Fellows at the last election of College officers, in relation to the interpretation of a College order made on 31 Jan 1789 (in relation to the taking up of College offices). He angrily justifies his conduct at great length. In particular, Homer feels that there is one (unnamed) Fellow who is trying to victimise him.
Fol. 45: Letter from Arthur Homer (address, Warminster) to Martin Routh, 6 Mar 1802. Homer expresses his pleasure at the latest elections of College officers, but remains bitter about his previous treatment on such occasions.
Fol. 46: Letter from Arthur Homer (address. Fol. 50 Parliament Street) to Martin Routh, 21 May (year not given). Homer thanks Routh for his advice on how to correct a book of Livy. He also discusses Routh’s advice on his brother Philip (D. 1783–1802; F. 1802–6). He does not think that Philip would be an appropriate person for the post of Schoolmaster (presumably at Magdalen College School). He does not think that he has the right character, and he would have to take a pay cut from his current teaching post at Rugby.
Fols. 47–48: Letters from William Mathews (D. 1775–92).
Fol. 47: Letters from William Mathews (address, Nayland) to Martin Routh, 14 Nov 1792. Mathews owns up that he is suffering from financial difficulties, and hopes that Routh can advance him £120.
Fol. 48: Letter from William Mathews (address, Nayland) to Martin Routh, 12 Dec 1792. Mathews explains how he ended up in such financial difficulties.
Fols. 49–52: Letters from James Williams Hoskins (d. 1844; D. 1776–92; F. 1792–1803).
Fol. 49: Letter from James Williams Hoskins (address, Witney) to Martin Routh, 24 Jan 1798. Hoskins has heard from Arthur Homer that he does not wish to take the post of Vice-President, which means that Hoskins might have to take it up. Hoskins explains why it might be difficult for him to live in College for a year.
Fol. 50: Letter from James Williams Hoskins (address, Appleton) to Martin Routh, 15 Jul 1821. Hoskins agrees to support Richard Heber in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections, having learnt Heber’s attitudes to Catholic emancipation.
Fol. 51: Letter from James Williams Hoskins (address, Appleton) to Martin Routh, 4 Apr 1827. Hoskins has the right to present a child to Christ’s Hospital next Easter, and invites Routh to recommend a candidate.
Fol. 52: Letter from James Williams Hoskins (address, Appleton) to Martin Routh, 19 Jul 1829. Hoskins writes to offer his son as a candidate for a Demyship (he was not accepted).
Fols. 53–55: Letters from and concerning Robert Pargeter (d. 1803; D. 1777–1803).
Fol. 53: Letter from Robert Pargeter (address, Midhurst, Sussex) to Martin Routh, 3 May 1791. Pargeter congratulates Routh on his election as President.
Fol. 54: Letter from William Pargeter (address, No. 16, Kentish Town) to Martin Routh, 7 Feb 1803. Pargeter reports that his brother Robert died last Sunday of a ‘pulmonic attack’.
Fol. 55: Letter from William Pargeter (address, 16 Mansfield Place, Kentish Town) to Martin Routh, 27 Feb 1803. Pargeter asks whether the College can make a contribution towards the expenses of his brother’s medical treatment and funeral.
Fol. 56: Letter from Sir John Filmer (d. 1834; D. 1778–85; F. 1785–95).
Fol. 56: Letter from Sir John Filmer (address, c/o Abbots Langley, near King’s Langley, Herts.) to Martin Routh, 31 May 1795. Filmer formally resigns his Fellowship, having got married. He expresses his gratitude to Routh and the College for the happy time he spent there.
Return here to the introduction to this section.